Tag Archives: veggies

Stuffed Peppers – Meatless Monday

This is a versatile recipe. I can imagine using this recipe for making stuffed summer squash or eggplant in summer, too.  Whatever’s in abundance in the garden can be chopped and added to the stuffing, and you can use fresh tomatoes instead of the canned crushed ones.  If you want a vegan recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and skip the cheese.  The mushrooms in the stuffing give it a “meaty” texture, but you can always add sausage or hamburger if you have die hard meat eaters.  If you have nothing to stuff, the rice mixture makes a nice side dish, too.  You can adapt this recipe to satisfy everyone! Serves 6.

  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Slice peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Set aside.  In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter or oil.  After a few minutes, add the carrot, mushrooms and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  While the vegetables cook, pour half of the tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish.  Arrange the peppers in the tomato sauce.  Add the rice and remaining tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.  Fill the six pepper halves with the rice mixture and bake in a preheated 350°F for 30 minutes.  Top the peppers with cheese, then continue baking for another 10-15 minutes.

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Cheesy Turkey Veggie Casserole

turkey casserole 004

I developed this recipe tonight based on what I had in the fridge, pantry, garden and freezer.  Please feel free to adjust based on what you like, and you could certainly replace the ground turkey with ground chicken or beef, or leave it out to make a vegetarian casserole.

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3-4 small carrots, about 1 cup chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • leaves from 4-5 stems of fresh thyme, chopped finely
  • 4 sage leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 package (1.3 lbs) ground turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 box elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions.  Drain.  Melt the butter in a Dutch oven.  Cook the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme, and cook until mushrooms have browned slightly.  Add the turkey and sage, and season with salt and pepper.  Brown the turkey, then sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.  Slowly stir in the milk with a dash of nutmeg, and cook until thickened.  Turn off the heat, then stir in the peas and 1 cup of cheese until melted.  Add in the cooked macaroni, then top with remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley.  Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and breadcrumbs are slightly browned.

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Cucumber Yogurt Dip

This is a quick and easy, healthy summer recipe.  Contrary to what I post here, I don’t subsist solely on pie! I just happen to like posting those yummy recipes.  Anyway, I have been trying to consume a more healthful diet for a variety of reasons, and a couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to tzatziki at a picnic at my parents’ house.  I’m a dip fiend, whether it be my mom’s standby sour cream/cottage cheese dip, layered Mexican dip, onion dip, or creamy fruit dip, I will stand there and eat dip until it is gone.  So when I read the label on the tzatziki and saw that its base was yogurt, I realized it could be a really healthy dip!  I’ve been experimenting and have come up with a recipe that I really like, so when Ruchi challenged everyone to post healthy recipes, I knew I should share.  Since I can’t properly pronounce “tzatziki,” I just call this “Cucumber Yogurt Dip.”

cucumber yogurt dip 005

  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pickle cucumber, or 1/2 a regular cucumber
  • splash of lemon juice
  • fresh chives and dill, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh veggies or pita chips for dipping

Peel the cucumber and chop it finely.  Lay on paper towels in a bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow to drain for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, sour cream, garlic, a splash of lemon juice, chopped fresh chives and dill, salt and pepper.  Stir in the cucumbers, then arrange on a platter with veggies from your garden and a few pita chips.  In the photo above, the snap peas and multi-colored carrots are from my garden, the green and yellow summer squash is from my family’s farm, and the tomatoes are from the grocery store, though we should have our own soon. 

So what qualifies this as a healthy recipe? Well, yogurt has active cultures and calcium, and the veggies have vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and all those other phytonutrients that are so good for us.  The garlic in the dip is good for your heart, the carrots are good for your eyes… I could go on and on.  This recipe is also healthy for the earth, since the veggies are as local as possible.

If you’ve got a healthy recipe to share, please join in on Ruchi’s carnival at Arduous Blog!

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Ranch Pasta Salad

I love making pasta salad in warm weather.  It’s nice and cool, and I can put in whatever vegetables and herbs I’ve got.  It’s great to pack and take for lunch, too.  I make all different kinds, depending on what’s fresh.  Today I decided to try it with my homemade ranch dressing and herbs picked fresh from the garden.

ranch pasta salad 001

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni (or shells, corkscrews, etc.)
  • 1 recipe of homemade ranch dressing
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 small pickling cukes, or 1 regular cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.  Drain it and cool it off by running cold water through the colander while stirring.  Peel and dice the cukes, dice the tomato.  Mix the dressing, herbs, veggies, cheese and cold macaroni.  I always add extra black pepper on top, too.

My sister-in-law Kate made a great BLT Ranch pasta salad, with cooked crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes and sliced lettuce, and that would be a really great modification to this recipe.  You could also add cooked chopped chicken, hard boiled eggs, chopped onions, peppers or summer squash, depending on your taste.

How do you like pasta salad?

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Planting cukes, squash, and pumpkins

This afternoon, I finished the first round of planting in our vegetable garden.  I started by ripping out the green bean plants that didn’t make it throught last week’s blustery, cold, rainy weather.  Their stems were all bent, so I replanted with seeds.  I think the main problem was that I started them indoors too early, and they were all stem and no root.  Here’s the rest of the stuff I planted:

  • 3 hills of Northern pickling cucumbers
  • 3 hills of heirloom yellow crookneck squash
  • 3 hills of golden bush squash (more yellow summer squash… I don’t like green enough to grow it)
  • 2 hills of Waltham butternut squash
  • 2 hills of spaghetti squash
  • 2 hills of heirloom small sugar pumpkins
  • 2 hills of Hokkaido Stella Blue squash (which are slate blue pumpkin-looking squash with orange flesh)

Each hill had between 4-6 seeds, which will be thinned to the strongest 2.  I’m excited to see them come up!  Some of the carrots are up, but I’m still waiting on the parsley and chives to make their appearance.

And then there are the tomatoes…  I need a re-do, I think.  The last week was so windy that they just didn’t make it.  Fortunately, I had way too many seedlings and decided to keep them indoors “just in case…”  Well, just in case is here… So tomorrow I’m going to replant.  I should have taken the unsolicited advice I got from coworkers and waited until Memorial Day to plant them.  Oh well, live and learn.

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